Crime - Sacto 911

Police: Midtown stabbing was hate crime; suspect turns himself in

Timothy Brownell
Timothy Brownell Sacramento Police Department

Sacramento police Tuesday said they had reclassified the stabbing of three Sacramento musicians in midtown late Sunday as a hate crime.

Suspect Timothy Brownell, 25, was initially released on bail Monday, but the Police Department said later in the day that it had issued a new warrant for his arrest. Brownell allegedly assaulted the musicians near 21st and O streets about 11:45 p.m. Sunday.

Police reported Tuesday evening that Brownell had turned himself in and was in custody at the Sacramento County Jail.

Brownell allegedly uttered “sexual orientation epithets” before attacking the musicians, according to a press release by the Police Department.

Police had arrested Brownell on Sunday on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon and illegal possession of a firearm. Officers said they found guns at Brownell’s residence when they arrested him.

“The Sacramento Police Department has zero tolerance for these crimes,” the department said in a news release Monday evening.

In social media posts, the injured musicians all said their attacker referred to them with homophobic slurs because they were wearing skinny jeans.

Slaves guitarist Alex Lyman posted on Instagram that he suffered a 4-inch stab in his side not far from his spleen. Another guitarist, Weston Richmond, broke his right hand and had minor cuts.

The band posted on Facebook that it will still headline the Sacramento Concerts in the Park event Friday, though Richmond will not be able to perform.

Blake Abbey, the lead singer for local band Musical Charis, said on his Facebook page that he was stabbed in the arm and required surgery.

Slaves is composed of Sacramento musicians who previously played in other area bands, including former Dance Gavin Dance lead vocalist Jonny Craig. The band released its only album in June 2014 and has more than 94,000 fans on Facebook.

Sacramento police spokesman Officer Justin Brown had earlier said alcohol was also a factor in the assault. He called a triple stabbing “very unusual” for midtown.

Local musicians James Cavern and Carly DuHain will host a benefit show Saturday night to raise money for the victims’ medical expenses. The show, titled “I Wear Skinny Jeans,” will begin at 10 p.m. at Pour House, 1910 Q St., where Cavern works.

Cavern has played music with Abbey many times since he came to Sacramento four years ago, he said. His initial reaction to hearing about the stabbing was “shock and anger.”

“There was a lot of shock factor hearing the word ‘faggot’ thrown around,” Cavern said. “The story seemed almost just unbelievable, that someone would respond in such a way over something like that.”

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